Lib Dem peer Brian Paddick: I was trapped in an abusive relationship

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Liberal Democrat peer Brian Paddick has revealed he was trapped in an abusive relationship when he was a senior police officer.

Paddick, who was the Lib Dem candidate for Mayor of London in 2008 and 2012, spoke Thursday at an event for Broken Rainbow, a charity which helps LGBT victims of domestic abuse.

Speaking about the relationship, Paddick said: “I remember on one occasion being curled up in a ball in the gutter, not very far from Scotland Yard actually, as he was kicking and punching me and thinking how embarrassing if somebody called the police.

“Here am I, a senior police officer, curled up, being assaulted by my partner.

“I got away from him and I found the courage to be able to tell him it was over. He threatened to kill me but he eventually went.

“People are afraid to come forward. I didn’t understand, as a police officer, why victims of domestic violence when they had gone to casualty and been patched up, go back to their abusive partner.

“But I was in love with this guy and he kept telling me ‘you will never get into a relationship with anybody else’ and I believed him. That was the sort of control.

“Things have changed and despite the criticism of the police I think you are more likely to get a sympathetic response some of the time than before, but there is a long way to go.

“Unacceptable behaviour in a domestic abuse setting can and tragically does escalate to violence.

“I didn’t go to the police because I didn’t want to be open about my sexuality and the type of relationship I was in. I was too embarrassed. We need to be more open about this so that people in abusive relationships realise they are not alone.

“Despite the research, the experience and the good work by some police forces, there is little the police can do to combat emotional abuse.

“Thankfully I am now happily married and in a wonderful relationship with a wonderful man but I could have got their even sooner if Broken Rainbow had been around at that time.”

Paddick was elevated to the House of Lords last August, and pledged to be “non-conformist” in his role.

He has condemned Vladimir Putin on several occasions for introducing anti-gay laws in Russia, and called for a boycott of Winter Olympic sponsors last year.